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Chris Erskine's World Cup reflections head into extra time

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Tim Howard draws a shout-out from Fan of the House columnist
Alexi Lalas a helpful TV presence, Chris Erskine finds
Even Waffle House gets into the fray, via Twitter

Random thoughts while waiting for FIFA to hand out Oscars for best actor, best flop:

Soccer needs a World Cup every year....

For a few weeks, the American team brought fans together in the way only football usually does, with beer, chicken wings, camaraderie....

There's something to be said for a sport with no timeouts....

On the plus side, Belgium has never won a World Series....

Weird Americanism of the week: Waffle House tweet "We don't believe in Belgium waffles." Or Belgian waffles, probably....

The U.S. could've been vaporized were it not for Spider-Man (Tim Howard) and a gritty, never-say-die work ethic....

Probably the most troubling stat: U.S. 317 million, Belgium 11 million (total population)....

I keep waiting for ESPN to interview the Girl From Ipanema....

TV announcers and execs need to realize that the audience changes during major events, and that newcomers need a little help with the little stuff like overtime rules and sliding tackles....

Alexi Lalas gets this. He's even better on camera than on the pitch....

Great to see the American Outlaws in action, a pro-U.S. soccer fan club as multiflavored as L.A. itself....

If the U.S. had taken along Landon Donovan, they'd still be playing....

Does Jozy Altidore think pulling a hamstring is bad? Ancient knights disabled foes by slicing their swords across the back of the thigh. And no one got a red card....

Didn't hurt World Cup ratings that this summer's movies are such duds....

Germany vs. France. Sauerkraut vs. champagne....

Nominees to the Hair Hall of Fame: Argentina's Rodrigo Palacio, France's Paul Pogba....

How do you run out of Dodger Dogs after the first inning? That's what happened Monday night at the field-level snack stand near Section 12. And souvenir stands were out of programs....

Dodgers feature best left-hander since Sandy Koufax, and seven of 10 TV viewers still can't watch him. "Who goes to jail?" asks reader Ken Newman....

Time Warner Cable is the main culprit in this festering TV standoff, but the Dodgers are also on the wrong side of history....

To most fans, pitchers' duels are overrated. So are corporate duels....

Fans may be furious over the TV blackout, but aren't holding it against the players. Attendance topped 2 million Tuesday night, up roughly 2,800 per game over last season....

Who'da thunk that Clayton Kershaw and Vin Scully would peak in the same year?...

In-stadium TV host Erica Weston is a former Laker Girl....

This just in: GM has recalled Juan Uribe....

On July 4, my walk-up song would be the "1812 Overture."...

Nearly everything they serve in a ballpark will kill you if you eat it more than three days in a row....

What I would've given to hear the patter in Fenway the other night when the Red Sox were being no-hit by the Cubs....

Why are the Bryan Stow deliberations taking so long? All sorts of legal trapdoors. In addition to the verdict, the jury could deadlock on liability, deadlock on damages, or deadlock on apportioning liability....

Are the Lakers ever going to hire a coach? How about the Van Gundy brothers? One could coach Kobe, the other could coach the rest of the team....

So, the Lakers' top draft choice has a screw in his foot. All I know is there's a loose screw somewhere....

Lakers summer league telecasts start July 11....

 

Think the Lakers and Dodgers will pick up on the importance of team play after what the Kings and San Antonio Spurs accomplished?....

Go Lakers! And take Eric Garcetti with you....

I still think Al Michaels should've been calling the Kings-Rangers series. Yes, I believe in miracles (and the Kings)....

NFL training camps open in three weeks. Can anyone beat the Seattle Seahawks?....

The Dallas Cowboys kick off camp July 24 in Oxnard. Parking is $10. Admission is free. Take the 101 Freeway north to the Vineyard Road exit, go left....

July 4 birthdays: Todd Marinovich (44), Floyd Little (71), United States (238).

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